A Yogi on the Election

There’s a certain comfort living a life without surprises, isn’t there? Today a lot of us may feel a little uncomfortable. I’m not a party person, but paying attention to the history of our country’s politics, it’s hard to ignore this morning that Republicans have won the overall majority for the first time since 1928, almost one year exactly before the start of the Great Depression. People are depressed. Last night didn't play out the way most of us projected. In the minds of many, last night, dangerous nationalism beat corrupt liberalism. Rhetoric ruled over fact and science… but the most important thing for us to be talking about right now is not losing our heart. Instead of placing blame, we must start the process of acceptance. Being too attached to the outcome of last night’s election will only distract us from enjoying our lives and having meaningful connections with ourselves and others.

This election is proof we have to continue to cultivate compassion for each other. If walls are going to be built, we must also build bridges within ourselves and our communities. Connect with people in meaningful ways and listen to what they have to say. Resist reacting with anything but love and understanding. If you’re reading this, you woke up this morning. Let that be your victory every day that it happens. Stand tall.

We have some real responsibilities here. We passed 400 parts per million carbon emissions this year, and we’ve just elected a President who believes climate change is a hoax made up by China. 22.8 million newly insured people face having the Affordable Care Act, the law that allowed them to get coverage, repealed. This is an administration that has the potential to be atrocious for women’s rights and the progress made with equality for all people, basic human rights, and the massive strides the LGBTQ community has made over the past few years. We have a Vice President that supports the use of Federal funding to treat people seeking to “change their sexual behavior.” So, democracy really starts now. This is the beginning, and the truth is, we’ll never grow if our circumstances stay the same. We now have a myriad of opportunities. Take them.

We all posses the power to accept a change that redirects our path. When things don’t go our way, we’re left with a few choices. Namely, we can either create misery for ourselves, or we can make sure things go 100% our way within. One creates stagnancy, and the other creates strength of character and of self - qualities the world so badly needs right now. Know that with change comes transformation, and with transformation comes evolution. Evolve. Don't fold to the fear you've been sold. Fear won this election. We can’t let it win over us. There’s no happiness in fear. To live in fear is an insult to the giver of the gift of life. Even when truth seems absent in our society, or in our government, we have to trust in the truth of ourselves. We have to trust in universal truths and continue to project positivity. When fearlessness seems out of reach, we have to work out of fear. We have to put it behind us and let it move us forward. Yogi Bhajan talks about how fear will try to shrink you. Now, we must expand. Now is the time to be bigger than ever - louder than ever. Continue to be an ally and activist for people and the planet. Do not let a subset of the population’s voice silence your own. Do not let a vote come between you and the other person that you are. Our truth cannot be Trumped; we’re all in this together and everyone wants to live a happier, better life. Find things to agree upon. Find common ground on the Earth we share and start standing a little closer together.

Today President Obama said we have to root for Donald Trump’s success. We do. With that though, we have to revise our vision of what success looks like. We can no longer see it as how much we amass, or the roles we that play. That’s what got us here. We must start to view success as how much we achieve of ourselves, and know that there is no greater goal than to love. The soul doesn’t care about your job, or the external wealth it brings you. The soul only cares about the love and compassion you express. The soul only knows one triumph, and that is to love. Love is the most unifying and healing energy there is, and we all hold its power in our hearts.

Starting today, we have to work to better understand our values and communicate them with understanding so that others can value and understand. We must become emotionally intelligent beings, intellectuals who infuse all of our decisions with care and kindness. This is an opportunity to overcome, and I hope each and every one of you rises to the occasion.

Like Yogi Bhajan says, when you don’t know what else to do.. Just be a yogi.

With love and optimism, let us pray for guidance.

Gian Arjan SIngh